Gillingham 0-1 Burton Albion
Gillingham 0-1 Burton Albion

Gillingham’s “Burton bogey” struck again on Saturday as The Gills slipped to their sixth home League defeat of the season.

Steve Evans’ side slipped to another home defeat – when they fail to score at Priestfield they lose in this most bizarre of seasons – against an Albion side who began the day rock bottom of the table and without a clean sheet in the League since the last time they met The Gills shortly before the first Lockdown back in February of 2020!

It was one of those afternoons for the home side who introduced new loan signing Tyreke Johnson to their stuttering forward line and had the chances to gain a much-needed point (or points) but missed, in particular two glaring second half chances, that would have broken the now three game losing streak either side of New Year.

The Gills made just the one change to the side that were beaten at Plymouth last time out with Johnson replacing the now returned to Coventry City Josh Eccles, but the one big boost for the home side was surprise inclusion on the bench of Stuart O’Keefe after his long-term injury.

With new Burton boss Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink looking on, his charges scored the game’s only goal in a disappointing opening half that saw Vadaine Oliver have a “goal” ruled out by a late assistant’s flag after being played through by Ryan Jackson.

It was debut making Hayden Carter who forced the ball into the Rainham End net on the half hour after Joe Powell’s cross wasn’t dealt with – Carter giving Jack Bonham no chance from six yards.

At the break, the Gills introduced Jack Tucker and John Akinde and, on the hour, the two combined for the home side’s best chance – Tucker’s knock down from Jordan Graham’s centre was prodded over the bar by Akinde.

The home side though nearly found themselves two behind shortly after as Lucas Akins’ looping header beat Bonham before bouncing away to safety off the base of the right post.

Burton keeper Ben Garratt then took centre stage which in the end earned his side the points. First, he made a terrific save to deny Connor Ogilvie – again from Graham’s deep cross – before in stoppage time, the visitor’s stopper made a brilliant reaction save to deny Akinde from nearly point-blank range, only to see Tom O’Connor unable to convert the rebound from a tight angle as the young Irishman fired over the bar.

Another disappointing afternoon at home base for Gillingham – yet despite their sixth home League defeat of the season, they still sit bang in the middle of League One… seven points from the Play Offs and six ahead of the trap door.

Steve Evans has promised new faces – he’ll be hoping that they arrive before his side head for Accrington next weekend.

GILLINGHAM – Bonham, Jackson, Drysdale (Tucker H/T), Ogilvie, O’Connor, McKenzie (Willock 84), Robertson (Akinde H/T), Dempsey, Johnson, Graham, Oliver (MacDonald 60).

Subs not used – Walsh, Mellis, O’Keefe.

BURTON ALBION – Garratt, Brayford, Daniel, Edwards, Wallace, Powell (Quinn 74), Hemmings (Varney 85), Akins, O’Toole, Gallacher, Carter.

Subs not used – O’Hara, Lawless, Vernam, Eardley, Gilligan.

Goal: Carter (33).

REFEREE – Mr Brett Huxtable

Picture supplied by Gillingham Football Club.

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